Mr. Sensitive

October 29, 2013

Brinky Cup – Week 8

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 06:42

Mario was so galled by last week’s four-way tie atop the Brinky Cup standings that he decided to show the rest of us Cuppers how it’s done.  The Week 8 result was a 12-1 record (marred only by the Steelers’ loss) and a two-game lead over surprising #2 Jenny.  We should be glad there were only 13 games in that can of whup-ass instead of the standard 16.  Todd Haley should be glad he still has a job (for now).

 

Games Back Week 8
Dark Mario 12-1
Jenny 2 10-3
Marcus 3 9-4
Ultra Katie 5 7-6
Mario T.Y. 6 9-4
Tara 7 9-4
Dark Lee 9 10-3
Jodi Ann 10 9-4
Lisa 12 7-6
Mario T.E. 12 8-5
Justin 13 5-8
Lee 13 8-5
Katie 15 7-6
Nicole E. 15 6-7
Reagan 15 9-4
Brinkley 23 6-7
Charlotte 25 6-7
Ruby 25 7-6

 

October 28, 2013

Katie’s Top 50 Songs of All Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 09:05

Katie refuses to rank her top songs and that simply cannot stand.  So it is that I’ve taken it upon myself to create the Katie Top 50.  I’m pretty sure that it’s inaccurate, but I’m just as certain that it’s more accurate than it is inaccurate, and I have no doubt at all that it’s more accurate that Katie would admit.  A few caveats:

  1. Only songs that are in our iTunes library are included.  That means that Matchbox 20 doesn’t dominate the list, as would otherwise be the case.  (We don’t have any Matchbox 20 in our library because Katie insists on hiding her love.)
  2. There is, of course, an arbitrary element to the process, and the farther down the list I went, the more arbitrary it got.  For example, I’m pretty confident that #1 should be ahead of #2, whereas I have no confidence whatsoever that #41 should be ahead of #42.
  3. If you think I’m wrong, it’s because you’re wrong.  This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised how many folks still haven’t taken it to heart.

Without further ado, here are Katie’s Top 50 Songs of All Time:

Rank Title Artist
1 A Better Son/Daughter Rilo Kiley
2 The Love You Save Jackson 5
3 (Everything I Do) I Do It For You Bryan Adams
4 Bernadette Paul Simon
5 Run-Around Blues Traveler
6 Support System Liz Phair
7 Ignition (Remix) R. Kelly
8 Bag of Hammers Thao
9 Lovely Rita The Beatles
10 When I’m Sixty-Four The Beatles
11 Closer To Fine Indigo Girls
12 Crash Into Me Dave Matthews Band
13 Daysleeper R.E.M.
14 May Queen Liz Phair
15 Who’s Johnny El Debarge
16 Science Vs. Romance Rilo Kiley
17 Celebrity Skin Hole
18 I’m Yours Jason Mraz
19 ABC Jackson 5
20 Feel Me Flow Naughty By Nature
21 Lovefool The Cardigans
22 La Isla Bonita Madonna
23 Least Complicated Indigo Girls
24 Otherside Red Hot Chili Peppers
25 Just a Friend Biz Markie
26 Lovebug Jonas Brothers
27 Tongue R.E.M.
28 Tonight Tonight Hot Chelle Rae
29 A Groovy Kind of Love Phil Collins
30 Wonderwall Oasis
31 What Makes You Beautiful One Direction
32 Save the Best for Last Vanessa Williams
33 Charm Attack Leona Naess
34 Stay (I Missed You) Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories
35 I’ll Be Your Everything Tommy Page
36 Every Morning Sugar Ray
37 Imitation Of Life R.E.M.
38 Time After Time Cyndi Lauper
39 Greased Lightning Liz Phair
40 My Slumbering Heart Rilo Kiley
41 I Will The Ben Taylor Band
42 Build Me Up Buttercup The Foundations
43 I Want You Back Jackson 5
44 Please Don’t Go Girl New Kids On The Block
45 Papa Hobo Paul Simon
46 Galileo Indigo Girls
47 Bump N’ Grind (Old School Mix) R. Kelly
48 Hold An Old Friend’s Hand Tiffany
49 Russian Girl Liz Phair
50 Strawberry Letter 23 Tevin Campbell

October 27, 2013

Can You Feel The Love Tonight?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 06:25

cattykatie 002

Katie and Lulu: best friends and sleepytime buddies forever.  (Bleach stains and comic boxes courtesy of me.)

 

October 26, 2013

FSX Saturday Update

Stocks are at all-time highs again, and it’s for the same reason they’re always at all-time highs nowadays—the Federal Reserve is blowing the biggest economic bubble in the history of the world in the bond market (the size of which dwarfs that of the stock market).  Now investors have nowhere to turn for yield but the stock market, and they never had anyplace else to go for growth.  I don’t believe the stock market overall has reached bubble levels, even if some stocks and sectors have.  The global bond market, on the other hand, has been manipulated by central banks on a scale unprecedented in any market at any time in history.  The Fed realized that the way to prevent a bubble from bursting (as happened in 1929) is to blow another one right beside it—it works for little kids playing with bubble wands and it works in financial markets, too.  To prevent the late ‘90s stock market bubble from bursting, the Fed lowered rates and loosened credit to inflate an even more massive bubble in housing and mortgage finance.  When that bubble began to thin out and burst in 2007 and 2008, the Fed dropped short term rates to zero (!) and bought trillions of dollars in bonds to drive down long term rates (so-called QE), inflating a bond-market bubble the likes of which the world has never seen.  And when this bubble bursts—as all bubbles do—what then?  Beats me.  If the rise in stock prices doesn’t take a break soon, we will reach bubble levels in equity prices as well.  Twin bubbles in stocks and bonds?  You won’t see anything scarier this Halloween, I promise you that.

The Family Stock Index hit another all-time high as well, blowing past 17K to close at 17,255, up 2.2% for the week.  I don’t even want to think about how technically overbought we are—so I won’t.

 

Advancers

  • Nicole M. (COLM) +10%.  Nicole and Mario are having a boy, and yet investors drove COLM to a new 52-week high on heavy volume.  Could it be that little boys aren’t all terrible monsters?
  • Brinkley (BCO) +8.7%.  Speaking of terrible monsters, mine is—I think—really getting close to talking.  I get a lot of da-da and da-dee from him but I need definitive evidence that he’s talking to or about me, and I’m not sold yet.  I got burned in the whole pointing-at-the-cat-and-saying-‘cat’ fiasco of two years ago, and the bar is high this time.  Investors seem to be buying, though, and Brinky took out his 52-week high with relative ease this week.  All I know for certain is that whenever he does decide to start talking, it will be for some nefarious purpose or other.
  • Jodi Ann (JOY) +7.2%.  Maybe it’s the combination of Eureity and the y-chromosome that gives Brinky his devilish might.  Jodi Ann and Marcus are having a girl, and the market likes that, too.
  • Dustin (DST) +5.8%.  Dustin has been the rock of the FSX during the last three months of extreme volatility, putting in a series of new highs without the sort of powerful surge that can detach a stock from its technical moorings.  Dustin is reliably Dustin, so perhaps this stolidity shouldn’t be so surprising after all.
  • Ruby (RJET) +4.1%.  Ruby, on the other hand, has been all over the place lately.  After a five week slide leading up to her 60th birthday—during which RJET shed 16%–she’s rallied 11% in the last two weeks.  Ruby’s #1 year-to-date performance ranking within the FSX was threatened by Zondro, Reagan and Marisa (the latter’s gain, at least, is capped) but with the three trailers up between 72 and 78 percent, the +115% RJET’s posted through nearly 10 months seems fairly secure.  A well-timed tank job that gives Reagan the narrow victory might be a good idea, but what do I know?  I’m just trying to stay in the green for the year.
  • Katie (CATY) +3.5%.  Katie’s all but secured another positive year, with a 31% gain through Friday.  Closing above $25 for the first time since the crisis began more than five years ago, CATY’s climb off the 2009 lows around $7 gives her a performance few can match.  REGN, of course, has zoomed from $12 to $300 in that time, but we mortals shouldn’t judge ourselves by Ray Gun standards.

Decliners

  • Justin (SCI) -2.8%.  Justin’s getting way too skinny.  Just check out the cover of Business Week, highlighting SCI:

deathinc

The artist may have taken a few liberties, but still.

  • Wilson (WILC) -3.0%.  Wilson’s not too skinny, as you can see.

wilson

  • Lucas (LEI) -10%.  I can’t get rid of LEI fast enough.  I don’t know what should replace it, but thinly-traded penny stocks are definitely not an option.

 

Name Ticker 10/25/2013 Change
Brinkley BCO $32.02 +2.55
Charlotte ICE $196.00 -2.22
Dustin DST $84.14 +4.59
Ghost Marisa MOLXA $38.47 +0.01
Icarus FAST $50.63 +1.43
Jenny JNY $15.31 +0.31
Jodi Ann JOY $58.09 +3.89
Justin SCI $18.54 -0.54
Katie CATY $25.56 +0.87
Lee TGI $73.99 +1.64
Lisa LNCE $29.60 -0.07
Lucas LEI $1.15 -0.13
Lulu LULU $72.66 -0.09
Marcus MCS $14.75 +0.48
Mario T.E. MGEE $57.22 +1.39
Mario T.Y. MAR $44.49 +0.99
Namilita NL $11.29 -0.16
Nicole E. NICE $41.60 +1.06
Nicole M. COLM $69.35 +6.47
Reagan REGN $302.24 -1.32
Ruby RJET $12.23 +0.48
Wilson WILC $7.17 -0.22
Winston ED $58.59 +1.73
Zero ZAGG $4.86 +0.08
Zondro ZQK $7.56 +0.11

 

 

 

October 25, 2013

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 15:36

No update today.  Maybe tomorrow.

October 24, 2013

Brinky Cup – Week 7

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 10:36

It’s madness at the top of the Brinky Cup standings after Week 7 of the NFL Season, with four Cuppers tied for first place—not only that, two of them are Jenny and Katie.  Let’s just say that’s why it’s taken me so long to get the Week 7 results posted, shall we?  Madness.

Games Back Week 7
Dark Mario 9-6
Jenny 10-5
Marcus 9-6
Ultra Katie 11-4
Mario T.Y. 3 6-9
Tara 4 10-5
Justin 6 11-4
Dark Lee 7 9-6
Jodi Ann 7 11-4
Lisa 7 9-6
Mario T.E. 8 9-6
Lee 9 10-5
Nicole E. 9 6-9
Katie 10 9-6
Reagan 12 8-7
Brinkley 17 6-9
Charlotte 19 8-7
Ruby 20 10-5

October 18, 2013

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 19:17

Oh boy—here we go.  With the shutdown/debt ceiling circus over, the market is focusing on Q3 earnings, and earnings so far are exceeding expectations.  Never mind that these earnings ‘beats’ are largely because companies have guided expectations lower over the last few months due to ‘uncertainty,’ because the market has had enough negativity.  Never mind that stock prices weren’t even dented during the tea-fueled drama, because now we’re talking about multiple expansion.

Uh-oh.

What is multiple expansion?  It’s how Wall Street puts a positive spin on investors paying more for the same earnings.  Why would you pay more for the same earnings?  You wouldn’t, obviously, not if I put it that way.  Would you embrace multiple expansion?  You just might.  This is what happens at a cyclical market top, folks: earnings growth is slowing, and analysts and strategists start telling you it’s safe to pay more for earnings at exactly the moment you should be paying less.  Why can’t the market trade at 20 times earnings? the bulls ask.  Well, it can, obviously.  But should it?

Nope.

15 is a normal multiple; 17-18 is the high end of the historical valuation range (excluding the 2000 bubble).  The economy is growing at 2-3 percent in the US, lower in Europe, and slightly higher (albeit with lots more volatility) in the developing world.  US multinationals have outsourced everything they can and wrung virtually every bit of expense bloat out of their global operations.  This is admirable, of course, but it can’t go on forever, and once you can’t cut costs any further, you can’t grow profits faster than revenues.  Long-term, the largest companies in the world can’t grow revenues significantly faster than the underlying economy is growing.  So you want to pay 20 times current earnings for a growth rate of five percent?  Count me out.

That said, stocks are going up through the end of the year, and the really overextended stocks (TSLA,FB,CMG,NFLX,PCLN,etc.) will lead the rally—you can book it.  Fund managers are lagging their benchmarks and they are going to have to chase performance, meaning crowded trades will just get more crowded.  Twitter is coming public, as is Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company that will be the biggest IPO in history (valuation of $150 billion or so).  1850 on the S&P 500 is easily achievable by year-end.  Then we’re in for a rocky 2014.

The Family Stock Index hit yet another all-time high this week, the first in over a month.  The FSX jumped 3.3% to close at 16,876, advancers clobbered advancers 22 to 2, and we’re now up more than 25% for the year.  I don’t know what to tell you, honestly.  We better have some stellar developments over the next six months or so, otherwise we’re 2000 points too high.

No pressure, though.

(In case it wasn’t totally clear, all the stuff above was written by Lee. But maybe you can believe it was me, Ultra Katie. I’m doing the Advancers and Decliners for real though.)

Advancers

  • Ruby (RJET) +7.7%. Mom is practicing for the new career she can start when she retires: toddler hair-cutter. She practiced on Brinkley last weekend, and she’s obviously already a pro. She may need to get some sharp scissors though.
  • Zero (ZAGG) +7.7%. Zero gave Charlotte food poisoning so she could spend some extra special time at home with him this week. Probably because he wanted to watch Scandal too.
  • Lucas (LEI) +7.6%. I didn’t officially measure or anything, but I think it may be that Lucas is finally both taller and heavier than Jenny. It’s only taken 14 years.
  • Brinkley (BCO) +6.4%. Brinky’s enjoying his new haircut because he can see everything again now that his bangs are no longer in his face.
  • Jodi Ann (JOY) +5.7%. Lee has come up with a middle name for your baby. (Maybe you’ve come up with one too.) Pistachio. Josephine Pistachio.

Decliners

  • Nicole E. (NICE) -1.5%. I’m hoping things will start looking up for Nicole now that the government shutdown is over. I know she’s also a little sad about not spending Halloween here, but I swear we’ll take pictures, and Jenny’s planning to ignore us all anyway.
  • LULU -2.9%. Lulu is a fat cat. Lee asked me to get him a water gun last week so he can spray her when she comes in and loudly meows in anger. I don’t think she’s going to enjoy it.
Name Ticker 10/18/2013 Change
Brinkley BCO $29.47 +1.76
Charlotte ICE $198.22 +3.54
Dustin DST $79.55 +1.93
Ghost Marisa MOLXA $38.46 unch
Icarus FAST $49.20 +1.89
Jenny JNY $15.00 +0.40
Jodi Ann JOY $54.20 +2.91
Justin SCI $19.08 +0.43
Katie CATY $24.69 +0.68
Lee TGI $72.35 +1.78
Lisa LNCE $29.67 +0.10
Lucas LEI $1.28 +0.09
Lulu LULU $72.75 -2.20
Marcus MCS $14.27 +0.15
Mario T.E. MGEE $55.83 +1.16
Mario T.Y. MAR $43.50 +1.20
Namilita NL $11.45 +0.18
Nicole E. NICE $40.54 -0.61
Nicole M. COLM $62.88 +1.91
Reagan REGN $303.56 +13.26
Ruby RJET $11.75 +0.84
Wilson WILC $7.39 +0.24
Winston ED $56.86 +0.60
Zero ZAGG $4.78 +0.34
Zondro ZQK $7.45 +0.37

 

October 17, 2013

Aren’t We Going to Do This Whole Thing Again In A Few Months?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 12:56

Short answer: no.

I’m surprised at the level of disgust in the financial press today, with the overwhelming takeaway seeming to be that last night’s shutdown-ending deal is terrible because it doesn’t remove uncertainty for any meaningful period of time.  I could not disagree more, and the market–up throughout the showdown and up again today–agrees with me.  This deal broke the momentum of the Tea Party–that’s what matters.  Those lunatics–and the Citizens United brigade backing them–put everything into this showdown, and it was as much an effort to destroy the moderates in the GOP as to destroy Obamacare.  The three-month cooling-off period is perfect, because it will give the moderates a chance to calm their nerves and realize that they stood up to the teabaggers and the world didn’t end. That doesn’t seem like it should be a revelation, but Republicans have been voting based on the Koch Brothers’ scorecards for long enough now that–for some, at least–this has to feel pretty good.  Mitch McConnell was practically giddy.

I also disagree with those who say that this whole ordeal was unnecessary.  It was absolutely necessary.  This is part of is the long-term purgative process that is an inevitable consequence of the idiotic, failed 2012 electoral strategy adopted by the GOP to defeat Obama.  They brought crazy people into their caucus to galvanize all the most reactionary, racist and anti-everything elements of society and increase voter turnout, and it wasn’t enough.  Now they have to get rid of the whackjobs, and it’ll take a few election cycles to do that.  Everyone needs to calm down.  This showdown was about breaking the power of the Tea Party to intimidate moderate Republicans, and this outcome is the best we could have hoped for.  The Republican Party won’t get well overnight, but at least the fever has broken.

October 15, 2013

Brinky Cup – Week 6

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 11:31
Tags: ,

Week 6 of the NFL season was, collectively, the best week in Brinky Cup history, as we combined for a 181-89 record and no one finished the week with a sub-.500 record.  I had to check the spreadsheet three times, that’s how unbelievable it was.  Ruby put in her best Bizarro effort, but even then she couldn’t manage worse than 8-7.  No one ran away with the week, either, with Jenny, Justin and Dark Me tied for first, and everyone else (except Ruby) winning between 9 and 11 games.  Not surprisingly, the overall standings were little changed.  Both versions of Mario and the lone Marcus are tied at the top, with Jenny and Ultra Katie one and two games back, respectively.

I didn’t like Dark Katie so I changed her to Ultra Katie.  That’s just how much power I have.

Games Back Week 6
Dark Mario 10-5
Marcus 10-5
Mario T.Y. 9-6
Jenny 1 12-3
Ultra Katie 2 11-4
Tara 5 9-6
Nicole E. 6 11-4
Dark Lee 7 12-3
Lisa 7 10-5
Justin 8 12-3
Mario T.E. 8 9-6
Jodi Ann 9 11-4
Katie 10 9-6
Lee 10 9-6
Reagan 11 11-4
Brinkley 14 9-6
Charlotte 18 9-6
Ruby 21 8-7

 

Balleter?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 10:17

What do you call a male ballet dancer?  Is there a word comparable to ballerina?  I ask because Brinky is listening to “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” on repeat and pirouetting through the kitchen.

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